Microsoft Edge has a new tool to topple Google Chrome - but it's nothing to do with ChatGPT this time

Microsoft Edge browser on laptop
(Image credit: / monticello)

Some Microsoft Edge users are reporting having access to the its new built-in VPN within the stable build of the web browser, despite the company not having officially launched it beyond a preview build

Officially known as the Edge Secure Network, users are seeing the VPN in their browser without a 'preview' tag, suggesting that they have access to the complete working version.

A VPN reroutes your internet traffic, effectively masking your location to keep you anonymous and protect your privacy, by preventing all the data-gathering forces out there from finding out about you. However, the Edge Secure Network works a little differently to other third-party VPNs.

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Three modes

The Edge Secure Network does not allow for users to choose the server location, unlike most VPN services. There are three different operational modes they can choose, though.

Firstly, there is the 'Select Sites' mode, where users can specify the VPN to be active only on certain websites , by adding them to the "Use VPN" list - useful if you only need the VPN to access certain region-locked sites. 

There is also an Optimized mode, so that the VPN is active only when you are on a public or unsecured network, or when the website in question doesn't have a valid certificate. Also, to conserve data used by the VPN - the free limit is 1GB per month - videos are rerouted outside of the VPN. 

Finally, there is Always On mode, which, as you may have guessed, keeps the VPN on at all times. 

For those who have access to the Edge Insiders program, the free data limit for VPN is 15GB, but once the VPN is rolled out to all users, the free limit should return to 1GB. 

There will an option to buy additional data if needed, but Microsoft is yet to reveal the pricing for this, but it is expected to announce it soon as the full fledged release draws nearer.

Lewis Maddison
Staff Writer

Lewis Maddison is a Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro. His area of expertise is online security and protection, which includes tools and software such as password managers. 

His coverage also focuses on the usage habits of technology in both personal and professional settings - particularly its relation to social and cultural issues - and revels in uncovering stories that might not otherwise see the light of day.

He has a BA in Philosophy from the University of London, with a year spent studying abroad in the sunny climes of Malta.